Kathmandu, Nepal – Prakash Sunwar was an aspiring actor based in the capital Kathmandu. He worked as a trekking guide to achieve his dream. The 37-year-old often gets foreign clients, taking them to exotic Himalayan landscapes.
On Sunday, he flew with two German tourists, Mike Graf Grid and Uwe Wilner, to Jomsom, a popular trekking and pilgrimage site in the Mustang district on the Tibetan border.
But within 20 minutes of taking off from the bustling tourist city of Pokhara, 200 km (124 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu, the Tara Air 9 N-AED crashed.
Nepalese authorities on Monday recovered 21 bodies from the rubble of a 14,500-foot-high Sanosware cliff in the village of Dasang-2 in the Mustang district. The body was last recovered Tuesday morning.
Last Wednesday, Chunwar told his best friend and dance friend Roshan Bandawa that he was leaving for a month to take some passengers to Pokhara and then to Mustang.
“That was the last time everyone saw him in the dance studio. I did not know he would ever come back,” Bandawa told Al Jazeera over the phone. Two German tourists were killed in the crash.
Pandava has fond memories of his friend who died in Sunday’s Tara Air plane crash.
“He was very active and wanted to sing, dance, act and be a good writer,” he said.
Sunwar was brilliant at being in front of the camera and starred in two YouTube series, one of which was Kai Kai, Kai K (chaos and chaos in Nepal), with over 18,000 channel subscribers and over 10,000 views per episode. The last two months. He had more than 3,500 followers in Tiktok.
On Friday, he posted a picture on his last Facebook status with a dance move, “Show real life everyone will dance with joy. You are deceiving yourself by showing a fake life. I thank God that you were with me in this situation.
Sunuwar hails from Okaldunga district in eastern Nepal and has two children – a four-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter. Two weeks ago, Chunwar had arranged his son’s birthday with close friends and family.
Seven members of Rajan Kumar Kole’s family were on the same flight. Kole, along with his family members, including his elderly parents, were on a pilgrimage to Muktinath, a holy shrine for Hindus and Buddhists.
Cole’s Facebook was filled with heartfelt condolences from his loved ones and relatives and friends – with a picture of the dead family, posing in front of a plane at the airport.
His son-in-law Jwala Kole said he last saw his uncle and grandparents a week ago. “I lost what I thought I would never lose. My uncles and grandparents were so good. They all helped, God took them away from us,” he told Al Jazeera in a text message.
Army helicopters and mountain rescue teams resumed operations early Monday morning after being disrupted on Sunday due to bad weather.
More than 60 people, including Nepalese army, police and mountain guides, have been evacuated following the plane crash.
None of the 22 people on board the plane survived the crash, military spokesman Narayan Silva said, releasing videos and pictures showing the wreckage of the plane in the Mustang district.
The bodies were scattered in the plane crash, ”Narendra Shahi, an international mountaineer and rescuer, told Al Jazeera.
The 10 recovered bodies have been flown to Kathmandu and sent for autopsy. The remaining bodies could not be brought in due to bad weather and are expected to be transported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Nepalese government on Monday set up a commission to investigate the crash.
“While we think it’s a weather condition, we have not yet been able to confirm the exact cause of the crash.
Of those on board, 6 were foreigners, including 4 Indians and two Germans. In 2016, Tara Air flew to a similar destination in a similar incident – all 23 passengers on board were killed in the crash.
Experts point out that Nepal’s extreme weather and harsh terrain are the main causes of plane crashes in the country.
“Pilots cannot control the terrain or the weather. In the high mountains, the weather is unpredictable and the terrain is rough, ”Sajib Gautam, an aviation expert and former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told Al Jazeera.
“To get to most of the rural airports in the mountains we have to cross very narrow valleys and if the weather gets bad we can not take safe turns.”
Gautam did not rule out other factors behind such accidents.
“Accidents happen in a chain of events. So many factors are involved in the accident. Airlines, their manpower and culture should be blamed. The pilot alone cannot be blamed.
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